09 Jul Glenda’s heartache
Luyolo was on a ventilator for almost three months
My name is Glenda Nombulelo Ratyie, I live in Diepkloof. I’m a mother of three, twins whom both passed away and a 7-year-old daughter.
On the 25th of August 2013, I gave birth to two beautiful and handsome boys at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, whom I named Luyanda and Luyolo. As a first-time mother giving birth to twins, I felt so blessed. During my pregnancy, I have always known that one of my boys will be hospitalised as he had complications. Unfortunately they were both hospitalised because they were preterm babies of 7 months.
Luyanda had no complications but sadly he passed away after 5 days. his cause of death had to do with him being a premature baby, his lungs were not fully developed and preterm babies forget to breath. I was then left with Luyolo at the hospital, I had to travel every day to go and see my baby, as hard as it was for me.
My life changed. During that time, I had to leave my job because I had no idea how long I would be going to the hospital.
When I was travelling to the hospital every day, there was a room where we would leave our bags and go to our babies. That room was called Mothers room. It had four chairs, four beds, a blocked sink and a table, the challenge about that room was that it was not serviced, meaning the hospital was not sending people to come and clean the room and the toilets, that is why we ended up sitting outside.
When RMHC came it was around September if I’m not mistaken, the place was renovated, to be a better place for families. It was no longer called mothers room but now Ronald McDonald Family Rooms (RMFR). It has a TV and Games to keep us busy, and ladies who will make sure that we get decent food on decent plates. Everything now was super.
Luyolo was still at the hospital during that time as he was the one I have always known will be hospitalised. He had three holes in his Heart and a Giant Umpholosis. Luyolo was on a ventilator for almost three months, which damaged his lungs. He was due to have two operations, one for his Stomach and Heart which they couldn’t do, because of his weight and his Heart and lungs were too weak. He was discharged on the 10th of December 2013 with home oxygen as he couldn’t breathe on his own, he was three months old. I was so happy to take him home.
On the 17 December 2013 he was admitted back to ICU in a ventilator because of his Lungs and Heart. On the 5th of January 2014, he was discharged and happy to take him home again, little did I know that it was temporary. He stayed at home for only 5 days because on the 10th of January he was admitted back to ICU. I was becoming a regular at the hospital and at RMFR.
Luyolo was now five months old going on six, he had to learn how to sit and eat solid food while he was still at the hospital.
On the 20th of March 2014, when I left the hospital, my child was okay because he was playing and doing everything any normal child does. Luyolo passed away in the early mornings of the 21st of March 2014, because I received a call from the hospital as I was preparing myself to go there. I was told to come with someone, I knew that something was wrong when they said I must bring someone, but at the same time I was in denial. Unfortunately, Luyolo had already passed.
Two months later after Loyolo’s passing I decided to volunteer at RMHC (RMFR). The first day was difficult but at the same time, I had to calm myself as I was there to help other families on how to deal with what they are going through. I think I found my passion in RMHC working close with the families who have lost their children and that of those who are in hospital.